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FX loan amendment: Banks likely to pay more

MNB

A parliamentary committee submitted an amendment to the borrowers' relief legislation that would lower the interest spread lenders may use for forint loans converted from loans denominated in foreign currencies. Analysts said the amendment, likely to be passed on Tuseday, means banks will pay more than was originally anticipated under the bill.

The original bill, which essentially requires that most foreign currency loans be converted to forint loans, limited the spread over the three-month Budapest interbank offer rate (BUBOR) to 2-5.5% for home mortgages and 2-7% for other mortgages. The amendment would reduce these spreads to 1-4.5% and 1-6.5%, respectively, according to MTI.

The amendment is also expected to extend the maturity threshold for FX loans that retail borrowers may keep, rather than convert, from one to five years.

In the original text of the bill, borrowers whose loans matured before the end of 2015 would be allowed to opt out of the conversion. In the amendment, the date has been changed to the end of 2020.

The borrowers' relief legislation approved in the summer requires lenders to compensate retail clients for using exchange rate margins when calculating repayments for foreign currency-denominated loans and for making unilateral changes to both FX and forint loan contracts.

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